Death In Paradise, a new drama starring Ben Miller as a British cop sent to investigate a murder on a Caribbean island, averaged 5.75m (23.7%) for BBC Three in the 9pm slot.
The show proved too strong for the semi-final of icy reality show 71 Degrees North, which had 2.23m (9.1%) on ITV1 and 155k (0.9%) on +1. It also eclipsed the debut of Jamie Oliver's new series Jamie's Great Britain, after the show served up 1.71m (7%) on Channel 4 and 405k (2.3%) on timeshift.
On the multichannels, the new series of Don't Tell The Bride stayed popular on BBC Three, attracting 1.23m (5.1%) in the 9pm hour. Earlier, Young, Foreign and Over Here was watched by 445k (1.9%) from 8pm.
Back on the terrestrials, Mayday Mayday fetched 2.68m (11.7%) on ITV1 from 7.30pm. High Stakes had 1.96m (8.3%) in the 8pm hour, but was beaten by Holby City's 5.64m (24.2%) on BBC One. Young Nuns enchanted 1.98m (15.4%) on BBC One from 10.45pm.
Celebrity Antiques Road Trip dealt with 1.96m (8.8%) on BBC Two in the 7pm hour. James May's Man Lab returned with 2.19m (9.4%) from 8pm and 168k (0.7%) on BBC HD. Code-Breakers: Bletchley Park's Secret Heroes captivated 2.13m (8.8%) from 9pm and 108k (0.4%) in HD. Later Live With Jools Holland stayed tuneful with 780k (4%) from 10pm.
Gok's Clothes Roadshow styled 1.78m (7.6%) on Channel 4 from 8pm and 1201k (0.8%) on +1. Shameless finished with 1.25m (7.1%) from 10pm and 261k (2.7%) on timeshift.
Real Food Family Cook Off served up 2579k (1.2%) on Channel 5 from 7.30pm. Amanda Knox: The Untold Story drew in 1.29m (5.5%) in the 8pm slot, before CSI: Miami investigated 1.55m (6.4%) from 9pm. Big Brother entertained 1.58m (9.1%) in the 10pm hour.
Overall, BBC One dominated primetime with 24.8% ahead of ITV1's 12% (+1: 0.4%). BBC Two took third with 8.2%, followed by Channel 4's 6.2% (+1: 1%) and Channel 5's 5.3%.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional